The Ministry of Tourism of Bahamas has issued a “heartfelt apology” after the luxury Fyre Festival, co-organised by rap star Ja Rule, was cancelled this week, leaving angry music fans who had paid up to $12,000 per ticket stranded on the island amid cancelled flights and shambolic organisation.

Furious ticket holders have bombarded social media since arriving on the Caribbean island this week, expressing their outrage at finding discarded rubbish, wild dogs, cancelled flights, lack of security, poor quality food, half-built infrastructure and general chaos when they had been promised a luxury VIP festival of music, arts and food.

The event, backed by celebrity supermodels such as Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and Kendall Jenner, had promised big things to its ticket holders, describing itself as the “unparalleled best” in offering “two unforgettable weekends” on a private island in the Bahamas.

But the event has become unforgettable for its patrons for all the wrong reasons, with some describing chaotic scenes on social media over the last couple of days, with flights from Miami being cancelled without warning on Thursday night (April 27th), according to just one person who was cataloguing the event via Twitter. Many others joined in the outrage.

The official tourism board apologised profusely for what has happened, but it also pointed out that the government had not officially backed the event and had only offered assistance when required from its organisers.

“We are extremely disappointed in the way the events unfolded yesterday with the Fyre Festival,” said the statement on Friday. “We offer a heartfelt apology to all who travelled to our country for this event. Tourism is our number one industry and it is our aim to deliver world class experiences and events.”

“Hundreds of visitors to Exuma were met with total disorganisation and chaos. The organisers of Fyre recently asked the Minister of Tourism for support for their private event. The Ministry of Tourism is not an official sponsor of Fyre Festival. Given the magnitude of this undertaking, the MOT lent its support as we do with all international events.”

Ja RuleJa Rule (r) was the Fyre Festival's co-organiser

As well as flights to festival being unexpectedly cancelled, people’s luggage had been severely delayed, reportedly being delivered to the island in the dead of night in a shipping container, with the quality of the food also being well below par.

“We offered advice and assisted with communications with other government agencies,” the statement continued. “The event organisers assured us that all measures were taken to ensure a safe and successful event but clearly they did not have the capacity to execute an event of this scale. A team of Ministry of Tourism representatives is on the island to assist with the organisation of a safe return of all Fyre Festival visitors. It is our hope that the Fyre Festival visitors would consider returning to the Islands of the Bahamas in the future to truly experience all of our beauty.”

As of the time of writing, neither Ja Rule nor any of the festival’s promoters have made a statement as to what happened.

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